Crowds of more than 2000 fans returning to football are viewed as a ‘realistic possibility’ before the end of the season as the UK government prepares to announce its ‘roadmap’ out of a national lockdown.
Football has been played behind-closed-doors since the resumption of the Premier League season in June, the 2019/20 season initially suspended for a three-month period following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic before the final fixtures were concluded without fans present.
The current campaign has largely followed without the presence of supporters inside stadiums, though some games were allowed reduced capacity crowds in December before tighter restrictions were enforced amid rising cases.
The high number of cases has meant there has been limited talk over the potential return of fans over the past two months, though The Athletic are reporting that The Sports Technology and Innovation Group, a UK government body tasked with getting fans safely back into stadiums, have begun making plans over potential pilot schemes.
According to the report, the League Cup final on April 25 is viewed as one fixture that could be used as a pilot event, alongside the FA Cup final which will be held three week’s later.
The success of the UK’s vaccination programme has raised hopes of a return to normality and the report has suggested that crowds in excess of the 2000 permitted during December’s games are now viewed as ‘realistic possibility in the not-too-distant future’.